Live Loved: Advent

 This is our fourth week of advent, which focuses on God’s love for us. In addition, our love for Christ and for others. God desires nothing more than your love.  He cherishes who you are today with all your imperfections. “The Eternal your God is standing right here among you, and He is the champion who will rescue you. He will joyfully celebrate over you; He will rest in His love for you; He will joyfully sing because of you like a new husband.” Zephaniah 3:17. God invites you in to have a deep personal relationship with Him. To live loved every day from here on out. God’s love for you surpasses human understanding it is that complex and beautiful.

The Christmas story is laced with love. Christmas points us to the cross where Jesus displayed His amazing love for us. Jesus lived loved in His ministry. God’s love is evident through Scriptures, creation, and our personal lives. “ This is the embodiment of true love: not that we have loved God first, but that He loved us and sent His unique Son on a special mission to become an atoning sacrifice for our sins” 1 John 4:10.

An element of living loved, is giving love. Christ enables us to love others. You can give love from where you are today. You don’t need to be wealthy or healthy. You only need a willing heart to serve the Lord and to give love to others. He will surely direct your steps. He will deeply bless your words. A hug, words of encouragement, or praying with someone goes a long way.

Additionally, living loved is praise God with a thankful heart for the simple blessings in your life this advent. Worship Him as the shepherds did in the Christmas story with a sincere heart. Mary also praises the Lord for His favor, “My soul lifts up the Lord! My spirit celebrates God, my Liberator! For the Mighty One has done great things for me; holy is God’s name!” Luke: 1:46, 47, and 49.

As Christmas draws near find someone to give love to; someone to encourage. Practice living loved this week. You are a child of the one true King. Reflect on His amazing love, which is evident in your life. Remember times this year that you felt His love and praise His holy name. Consider how you can live loved this advent season as well as in the new year.

God,

We praise you for the gift of Your Son consumed with Your love. For His example of love. Thank you for loving us. Allow us to live loved no matter what events play out in our daily lives. Enable us to give love to others. Let us be a blessing to them. May our hearts forever sing Your praises. Bless these days leading up to Christmas. We love you, Lord.

Amen

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Christmas Blues

It is the most wonderful time of the year… or is it just another blue Christmas? Chronic illness and the holiday season can be conflicting. Yes, there is so much beauty as well as love in this season. However, it can also be a reminder of life B.C.I. (before chronic illness). The traditions we can no longer take part of, the foods we can no longer enjoy, and the friends who have left us.

Blue_Christmas

My love for Christmas has always been known. By October, I am ready to begin decorating and listening to Christmas music. Throughout the fall, the excitement builds with every step closer to the Holiday season. This is the first year I am not excited about this beautiful season. I find my lack of excitement frustrating. I don’t feel like me.

Of course, medication change has a role in this for me emotionally. The saga continues as I taper off of the lovely Prednisone. It has been a little over 20 days since my taper. My body is furious. I have begun passing kidney stones again, which landed me in urgent care. I have been put on a miserable antibiotic. Additionally, my IBD is flaring along with my lupus.  Not to mention that finals are right around the corner. I know logically why I feel the way I do, but logic doesn’t ease the frustration.

I know I am not the only person playing tug a war with emotions this Holiday season. It can be more difficult to cope will illness. I am attempting to fake it till I make it, going through the motions. Praying somewhere along the way the excitement will kick in and I will feel the spirit of Christmas once again. I have begun decorating my room though it is a struggle with POTS. I become dizzy as I raise my arms to hang up snowflakes. My cats are inspirationally excited about the Christmas season.

How do you combat Christmas blues?